The Royal Society (through the Science in Society programme), Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust funded a study to examine the factors affecting science communication by scientists. This report will provide evidence to support the development of strategies to encourage scientists and engineers to communicate with stakeholders including the public, policy makers and media. By communication, they mean putting the results of research out to the public in a means that is accessible to to the layman.
The aim of the study was to provide evidence for funding organisations, universities and other research institutions on which they can base a workable system to reward scientists for their efforts to become involved with public engagement activities.
According to the scientists surveyed for the report the pressure to publish research, attract funding to their departments and build careers on 'hard research' means public engagement work, such as debates, dialogues or exhibitions, media appearances or outreach activities with schools, is not a priority. The need to spend more time on research was the top reason, cited by 64 per cent of respondents, stopping scientists getting more engaged with science communication work.
Posted by Katie Newman at July 6, 2006 4:34 PM